First of all, I dont know where to place this subject so I placed where there have the most activites.
To start, I have no idea what is making my computer crash. First I thought the cause would be my power supply which was 420 watts. So I bought a 500 watts power supply and still the computer sometimes freezes or restart on its own. Second, I believe it would be my mobo's temp since my chipset fan gave out, but according to the PC Wizard 2006 software Im using, my current readings are: processor = 37C, mainboard = 28C, Harddisk = 26C, and in the bios I got about the same readings for their temperature. I believe these are normal temperature readings. If not please correct me.
Now I am coming up with a third conclusion, my harddrive might be the cause of my computer's constant crashing and freezing.
My question is how are you guys out there find out the cause of computer crashing or freezing? *I dont think freezing is the correct term*
Well here are my specs if they help.
Intel P4 2.4c HT
512 mb ram
Geforce FX 5200
Maxtor 120 gb IDE HD
Have you updated your video drivers lately? there are alot of possibilities here. If you are a "tweaker" remember more often than not you will make a change to the software on your PC that will crash it before hardware will fail and crash it.
within the last year i have had two similar problems. i've been a computer hardware/software engineer for over 30 years and also was frustrated until i replaced the large electrolytic capacitors on my motherboards. one board was about 5 years old and the other was about 18 months old.
ever since the Tiwan capacitor fiasco several years ago when an incorrect formula was widely used to make the capacitor dialectric, i have found several instances when just replacing the capacitors on the motherboard has worked. i am not saying this is a cure-all, just suggesting you consider the possibility.
the bad caps were not filtering the output of the voltage regulators on the motherboard. the noise generated by the regulators was feeding directly into the CPU causing many problems.
this problem was reported in the IEEE newsletter back in 2000 or 2001. the problem pops up again when older motherboards are involved or when manufacturers try to cut their costs and forget the problems. some cap manufacturers also pass the old diaelectric off as good to save money.
i personally try to use 10 volt caps instead of 6.3 volt caps in an attempt to avoid some of the hydrogen outgassing that occurrs with the bad caps.
The chipset fan isn't dead. I just unpluged it since it is loud and annoying. At first I thought this would cause my system to overheat, but with bios temp readings and 3rd party software temp readings from MBM5 my average readings are normal. (CPU= 39 to 45C and Mobo= 29 to 32 C). I also thought it would be my power supply, but after installing a new PS it still freeze or restart. So now Im waiting for another HD from my sister to test whether its my HD or something esle that is causing these crashes.
On the lighter side of the story. I got no crashes today
I am pretty convinced that my constant downloading, leaving the computer on all day to download, encoding videos to dvd, burning the videos to dvd, and using diskeeper at least once a day is the cause of making my HD to crash the system. ...or I can be wrong.
My suggestion is that the HD is faulty. I had this problem once and the computer would just completely freeze plus the HD would make strange clicking/ticking noises. Perhaps this is the case with your HD aswell. If so, there is no other solution than to replace the drive.